Participating Consciousness

Found this one again. The Reenchantment of the World, by Morris Berman Cornell Univ Pr (1981)


This is from a snippet I have in my essay Archetypes of Cyberspace by Dolores Brien, though I can’t find the link to the original:

We live, we are told, in a world that is “disenchanted” and that has been ever since the scientific revolution of the 16th century. The natural world of the ancient peoples, its trees, rocks, waters, the sky and earth, was alive and inhabited by spirits and gods. Humans were a part of this world too, at home in it. They did not perceive themselves as separate from nature. They belonged to the cosmos, just as did everything else in the natural world, both organic and inorganic. Their consciousness was, what Marshall Berman has called, a ” participating consciousness.” *
* The term “participating consciousness” actually originates with the philosopher, poet Owen Barfield, whom Berman cites.

Wikipedia on Barfield where it states:

His primary focus was on what he called the “evolution of consciousness,” which is an idea which occurs frequently in his writings.

That is an idea that has appealed for a long time and is comes up in Archetypes of Cyberspace where is suggest our consciousness transforms along with our ability to communicate – along with writing and the Internet. It may be different of course to what Barfield meant by it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *